Nha Trang Destination Guide
Nha Trang Holidays
Travellers from all over the world flock to Vietnam’s famous coastal city of Nha Trang for its sandy beaches, excellent diving spots, oh-so-fresh seafood, tropical climate and, last but certainly not least, its pumping after-dark party atmosphere.
The vibe here is fun and laid-back, which is why Nha Trang has rapidly become Vietnam’s beach resort capital. While there is plenty of action to be enjoyed in and out of the water, there’s nothing quite like simply lounging the day away on a sun bed (cocktail optional).
While there’s no denying that many tourists come to Nha Trang for the exquisite beaches and vibrant nightlife, the history and culture that abounds in this coastal city are other significant crowd-pleasers. Draw yourself away from the shore to one of Nha Trang’s stunning architectural wonders, Po Nagar Cham Towers. Resting gently on the banks of the Cai River just 2 kilometres north of the city centre, these stunning Cham Towers have a history that dates all the way back to the 7th century. The striking temple complex, which was constructed to honour the goddess Yan Po Nagar, is still a place of worship for Buddhists today.
Long Son Pagoda is another cultural draw that’s well worth a visit. Dating back to the 19th century, Long Son Pagoda is best known for the grand white statue of Buddha that takes pride of place behind the pagoda. Climb the 152 stone steps to the base of the statue to take in beautiful views of Nha Trang and surrounds. The temple itself is decorated with striking glass and ceramic dragon mosaics, while the main hall features traditional art and carvings.
Mud bathing is a hugely popular activity in Nha Trang, especially at Thap Ba Hot Springs. The region’s original thermal mineral mud bath and mineral hot springs centre, Thap Ba offers both traditional communal bathing and private experiences along with a swimming pool and hydrotherapy water jets.
Eat and Drink
A beach town through and through, Nha Trang offers excellent food right on the sand – catch a local seafood peddler walking the main beach and enjoy fresh seafood cooked to order right in front of you on a brazier. Other local specialties to look out for include Nem Nuong (grilled fermented pork) and Banh Can, a popular snack made of rice flour, eggs and spring onion served with a sweet and sour dipping sauce.
Like all Asian cities, Nha Trang has an excellent range of cheap and delicious street food but, if that’s not your thing, there are also plenty of Western-style restaurants on offer. For a little fun when the sun goes down, head to one of the many bars in the city centre. Local laws mean they can’t stay open after midnight (although some do) so after the clock strikes 12 wander down to the beach where hotspots kick on in spectacular fashion until late.
Where to Stay
There are hundreds of hotels in Nha Trang that cater to every budget, from the shoestring traveller to those with finer tastes. For a truly luxury experience book a room at one of the premier hotels on the beachfront boulevard Tran Phu, where you’ll wake up to blue water views and enjoy prime beach access.
Laid-back shopping is the name of the game in beachside Nha Trang. Gifts, souvenirs and mementos are available on every street corner, while pockets of the city offer excellent little galleries selling local artwork and artisan crafts. Be sure to visit a local tailor to have a shirt, suit or dress custom made – the experience alone is worth it. For something off the rack, the beachfront boulevard Tran Phu is home to the Nha Trang Centre shopping mall where you’ll find brand name fashions, jewellery, cosmetics and accessories galore.
Nha Trang Like a Local
Exploring the traditional markets of Nha Trang is a great way to experience the bustle of the locals and see how they go about their daily lives. Dam Market and Nha Trang Market and recommended starting points.